A 62-year-old man was arrested in February in Nebraska on suspicion of killing a young woman forty years earlier. A hunt that owes everything to technological progress around DNA.
It took almost 40 years to resolve this closed case, a “cold case” as they say in the United States: a man suspected of having killed a woman named Sylvia Quayle, in 1981 in Cherry Hills Village (Colorado), was arrested in February, reports CBS . His DNA, found on a soda can , matches that found at the time near the victim.
On August 4, 1981, Sylvia Quayle, a 35-year-old woman , was found dead at her home, naked, strangled, stabbed and shot by a gun. Samples could have been recovered from the crime scene, but it was not until 1995 that a piece of carpet could be analyzed and the year 2000 so that the police could identify the DNA as that of a male individual.
Trapped by his trash
Last January, investigators relaunched the case using two open access genetic databases , Family Tree DNA and GEDMatch. This enabled them to identify around 3,300 people likely to match the profile. A few more weeks of investigation were necessary to narrow the bundle of clues and target a prime suspect: David Dwayne Anderson, a 62-year-old man now living in Nebraska.
It only remained to collect the DNA of this man, which could be done by recovering a can – of vanilla soda, CBS says – in his trash. The two sequences matched perfectly, so David Dwayne Anderson was arrested on February 10 . He is expected to be transferred to Colorado to face a charge of intentional homicide.